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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Folks,

Has anybody used one the UV portable treatment devices, like the Steripen, to treat their water on multi day trips? Just bought one for backpacking and thinking it may be helpful on the river as well. My thought is to carry clean water in on the trip and then just fill the jugs with "dirty" water at the source (I bleach containers at the end of each trip anyways). Then in camp treat people's bottles as needed. Takes like 1.5 minutes per liter which is pretty simple.

Might be more work then necessary though, just curious if folks have tried and what their experiences have been. At a minimum I will likely bring it for lightweight trips.

Currently use a Katadyn Basecamp in a similar manner, though we keep one container clean to filter into. A great setup with relatively simple use in camp. Definitely requires less work than pumping at the source.

Phillip
 

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Hey Folks,

Has anybody used one the UV portable treatment devices, like the Steripen, to treat their water on multi day trips? ....
Phillip
It will always be a function of what water you are using as a base, but there are a great many things that are not good for you that aren't treated with UV, metals for one, Phosphorus and other nutrient based non-point source pollution, as well as other fine sediment that you don't want to ingest.. Filters remove metals, and many/most of these other contaminants.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It will always be a function of what water you are using as a base, but there are a great many things that are not good for you that aren't treated with UV, metals for one, Phosphorus and other nutrient based non-point source pollution, as well as other fine sediment that you don't want to ingest.. Filters remove metals, and many/most of these other contaminants.
Valid point. We don't pull from Main current of rivers, except for very rare occasions, where those constituents are of most concern. Not too worried about the limited amount they may inhabit the side streams we pull from for the amount of water we will be consuming.

I do see some of the aforementioned issues (especially fine silt, which affects the efficacy of UV) being a bigger issue backpacking and already plan on pre-filtering of some sort. Could always apply that approach to small and/or lightweight rafting trips if need be as well.

Should clarify....looking for first hand experience for folks who have used this technology in the field. I have spent a lot of time investigating the pros/cons and limitations of the technology itself. Just wondering now since I have purchased it how beneficial or possibly cumbersome it will be applied to river use with small to medium groups.

Phillip
 

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If the water is cloudy at all it will not work. Also most that i am familiar with- all of the steripen line- you can only do about a liter at a time. Takes about a min per liter. Thats a lot of sitting around stirring water to fill a 5 gallon jug. Works fine if you are just filling a couple nalgenes. I wouldnt do it for group use. With the ease of your gravity filter, and the surface area of the hiker pro cartridge on the inside, you have the best group filter going, unless you jump up to their commercial filters.
 

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If the water is cloudy at all it will not work. Also most that i am familiar with- all of the steripen line- you can only do about a liter at a time. Takes about a min per liter. Thats a lot of sitting around stirring water to fill a 5 gallon jug. Works fine if you are just filling a couple nalgenes. I wouldnt do it for group use. With the ease of your gravity filter, and the surface area of the hiker pro cartridge on the inside, you have the best group filter going, unless you jump up to their commercial filters.
Time is the biggest issue I see in using UV on the river....very similar to bringing a drip coffee cone for an entire group of folks. And the BaseCamp is brilliantly simple.

I am thinking of a place like Deso or the Main. We carry water in for the first half of the trip or so and then fill up the empty 5 gallons jugs at the source. For cooking and coffee we boil the water already as it is. So that just leaves the Nalgenes people drink from, just zap it when filling up (plus we always have 1-2 people asking for help during rig).

Biggest benefit I can think of is cost $$. Those Hiker Pros cost $40 a pop and only last 200 gallons. Really not much spread over roughly 2 years. That said the UV light last at least a 1000 gallons. And then it only costs $10 to replace. The difference is noticeable.

I am guessing ease will win out for most of the trips I do but I can see it being great for the 1-2 boat or 1-2 person trips we do commonly.

I love my Basecamp still for sure.

Phillip
 

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I have used both the Steripen and the Platypus Gravity-works.

I sat stream side filtering with a carbon filter and treating with the Steripen. About one and a half hours to make 6 gallons to get us to the next safe spring.

Fun watching the kids play in the river but otherwise boring.

Set up the Platypus on my Go-pro stand at riverside and just wandered by every 10 minutes or so and filled the dirty water bag while doing other camp chores. Before too long had topped off all jugs and bottles.

The Platypus will be my main water treatment option with the Steripen as a back-up.
Also you have to have batteries and a way to charge the UV system.
 

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Have been on two trips with UV pump filters. They are the only trips where filtering water was a non issue. One person just sat in the boat with the hose in the river, fortunately both were clear water so it was easy-peasy.
 
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